This has been a crazy little season of life for me. (I love that term by the way, season…it sounds so – wise and all knowing.)
I woke up this morning at 4am – pregnancy insomnia, pregnancy bladder, pregnancy starvation. I tossed and turned and tried not to wake my husband. Eventually I gave up and came downstairs for some early, early morning brew, to catch up on a few emails and messages, do a little reading.
In a house full of people, it is a rare treat to sit in a room where a ticking clock is the only noise. I know I’ll be tired later but I’m savoring these quiet moments to think through life.
I feel like I’ve been melancholy lately, for a lot of different reasons. As a pastor’s wife, I struggle with finding a balance between finding the positive and the upbeat all the time and being real. Will my weaknesses, my faults, my disappointments, my mistakes be acceptable? Can I truly say what’s on my mind and my heart without someone raising an eyebrow? Shouldn’t there be a ‘How to be a Pastor’s Wife’ class? Kidding. Kind of.
I read a blog post the other day about seasons.
It was about owning our seasons – where we are at in life. And it really hit home for me, because it reminded me that the people in my life I’m closest to are the ones who have been with me for the highs and the lows. They’ve seen me at my worst, they know my shameful secrets. They’ve seen me at my best, they know how good things have been when they’ve been really good. They’ve walked with me through the sunshine and through the storm and they’ve loved me and accepted me through both.
A year or so ago, a friend and I led a women’s life group. As we prayed for the semester and contemplated how to help these women go from strangers in someone’s living room to sisters in Christ we decided to shake things up a bit by assigning each woman a ‘prayer partner’. All too often in a life group scenario there are generic and random prayer requests thrown out. I don’t know about you, but leaving a home with 15 prayer requests swirling in my head can be overwhelming.
We wanted to not only share prayer requests as a group, but encourage one on one relationships within the group, where you could feel safe to truly open up. A place where you could tell the woman sitting across from you how life was truly going. I wish I could say this catapulted our group to crazy levels of closeness and godliness but I’m afraid it didn’t exactly work that way. It was new, different and at times an uncomfortable way for people to be.
But – I was blessed with an awesome prayer partner. A woman who became and still is a very close friend to me. A woman who I’ve been able to share my life with, and who has shared hers with me. We have shared laughter and tears and triumphs and lows – we’ve had coffee, loved on each others children and spend much of our day sharing text messages and funny thoughts.
Sometimes you meet someone in life that you just click with – and I think this friend of mine is without a doubt, one of those people. I believe we would have been friends even if we hadn’t been paired up as prayer partners. But I believe the level of our friendship would not have reached the point it is today if we hadn’t been able to sit across from each other – open, vulnerable and truthful. I am able to share the seasons of my life with her.
I think it’s ok to feel melancholy. To feel burdened, to feel saddened, to feel overwhelmed. Without those times, as cliche as it might sound, the high points in life wouldn’t taste so sweet. To admit to another person that you need help, that you need prayer, that you need someone to lean on is a precious and painful revelation. It’s also exactly what God desires for us.
I have amazing friends who have seen me through fat days, thin days, dark hair, platinum hair, single life, married life, heartache, happiness, losses, successes, first dates, last dates, laughter and tears. Each one has played an irreplaceable role in my life, and though some have only been friends for a season, they have all brought life lessons and growth my way.
Don’t be afraid to share yourself with someone.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
― C.S. Lewis